Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Earth Day is celebrated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Many communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. The first Earth Week originated in Philadelphia in 1970 (starting April 16 and culminating on Earth Day, April 22.)Earth Day Network, a group that wishes to become the coordinator of Earth Day globally, asserts that Earth Day is now observed on April 22 on virtually every country on Earth. World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5 in a different nation every year, is the principal United Nations environmental observance.
The first Earth Day
On April 22 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
The Earth Day Name
According to Senator Nelson, the moniker "Earth Day" was "an obvious and logical name" suggested by "a number of people" in the fall of 1969, including, he writes, both "a friend of mine who had been in the field of public relations" and "a New York advertising executive," Julian Koenig. Koenig was on Nelson's organizing committee in 1969. April 22 also happened to be Koenig's birthday, and as "Earth Day" rhymed with "birthday," the idea came to him easily, he said. Other names circulated during preparations—Nelson himself continued to call it the National Environment Teach-In, but press coverage of the event was "practically unanimous" in its use of "Earth Day," so the name stuck.
Earth Day ecology flag
According to Flags of the World, the Ecology Flag was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb, published on November 7, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press, then placed in the public domain. The symbol is a combination of the letters "E" and "O" taken from the words "Environment" and "Organism," respectively. The flag is patterned after the United States' flag, with thirteen alternating-green-and-whites stripes. Its canton is green with a yellow theta. Later flags used either a theta, because of its historic use as a warning symbol. Petrus de Dacia in a document from 1291 relates the idea that theta was used to brand criminals as empty ciphers, and the branding rod was affixed to the crossbar spanning the circle, or the peace symbol. Theta would later become associated with Earth Day.
Blue Earth Flag
The Blue Earth Flag was designed in 1970 by Earth Day founder and pioneer John McConnell, an early leader in the international peace movement. Inspired by the striking first photographs of the whole Earth taken during America's historic Apollo 10 space mission in 1969.
This symbolic creation has an association with renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead. Dr. Mead carried what she called "the flag for all people" with her wherever she appeared from 1969 until her death in 1977.
The Earth Flag's global motif message represents unity and peace. Because it was designed by Earthday Founder, it is often associated with Earth Day.
There has been a recent court decision that no one has a copyright or trademark on the design.
Earth Day 2010
Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.
'Big Tree' formed to mark Earth Day
Earth Day marked internationally